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ceremony for chief master sergeant richard etchberger. he received the medal for his service in laos. his son spoke briefly with reporters. this is about 25 minutes. . . >> ladies and genemen, the president of the united states and michele obama. [band plays "hail to the chief"
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] let us pray. dear lord, help privilege we are to live in america. we praise you for those who throughout our nation's history of stood between our beloved homes and the desolation of war, pledging their lives to establish and maintain our precious freedom. today, we offer special thanks to the service of one of america's finest chairman, chief
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master sergeant richard etchberger who on that fateful day in 1964 who demonstrated tremendous valor beyond the call of duty. as the son of this war hero -- receives on his behalf the medal of honor, we know his family will stand a little taller. and so, also, shall we, a very proud and grateful nation. now, as we honor this american hero and the family that loved and supported him, we ask that you graced our time together with your love and blessing, in your holy and wondrous name we pray. amen. >> amen.
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please be seated. good afternoon. on behalf of michele and myself, welcome to the white house. i think you for your wonderful invocation, a general. among all the military decorations nation can bestow, the highest is the medal of honor. it is awarded for risking one's life in action, for serving above and beyond the call of duty. today, we present the medal of honor to americans who have displayed such gallantry more than four decades ago. chief major sgt richard etchberger. this metal reflexed the gratitude of the entire nation -- this medal reflects a
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gratitude of the entire nation. we have the congressman tim holden from the chief richard etchberger's home state of pennsylvania. we also have secretary eric shinseki, leaders from across our armed services, including michael donnelly and chief of staff schwartz. i want to acknowledge a group of americans to understand the dollar we emphasize today, because they have displayed it themselves, members of the medal of honor society. most of all, we honor richard etchberger's friends and family. especially his brother robert and his three sons, steve,
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richard, and cory. for his family, this is a day more than 40 years in the making. cory was just nine years old, but he can still remember that winter in 1968 when he, his brothers, his mom were escorted to the pentagon. the war in vietnam was still raging. his father had given his life earlier that year. now, his family was being welcomed by the air force chief of staff. it was a small public ceremony. richard etchberger was recognized with the highest honor the airforce can give, the air force cross. these three boys were told their dad was a hero. they were not told much else. their fathers work was classified, and for years, that
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is all they really knew. then, nearly two decades later, the phone rang. it was the air force. the file on the mission was finally being declassified. that is when they learned the truth. their father had given his life not in vietnam, but in neighboring laos. he was a radar technician. he had been handpicked for a secret assignment. it was a small team of men that served at the summit of one of the tallest mountains in laos. they manned a tiny radar station, guiding american pilots into north vietnam. dick and his crew believed they could turn the tide of the war, perhaps even ended. and that is why north vietnamese
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forces were determined to shut it down. they moved in their troops. eventually, dick and his teammates sought that the mountain was surrounded by north vietnamese troops. they had a decision to make. asked to be evacuated or continue the mission for another day? they believed no one could possibly scale the steep cliffs, and they believed in their work, so they stayed. the continued their mission. there were 19 americans. when their shift was over, dick and his four men moved to a small rocky ledge, and then, during the night, the enemy attacks. some scaled the cliffs. down the side of the mountain,
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dick and his men were trapped on that ledge. the enemy a lot of the grenade after a grenade, hour after hour -- lobbed a grenade after a grenade, hour after after. dick and his men would throw them back. one man was killed, then another. a third air man was wounded. another. eventually, dick was the only man standing. as a technician, he had no formal combat training. he had only recently been issued a rifle. but richard etchberger was the very definition of an nco, a leader determined to take care of his men. he fought them off. when it looked like the lead would be overrun, he called for air strikes.
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it shook the mountain and cleared the way for a rescue. in the morning light, an american helicopter came into view. richard etchberger live in the chairman's creed, to never live -- to never leave an air man behind so the helicopter hovered above, and he lowered his wounded men one by one, each time exposing himself to enemy fire. when another airman rushed forward, dick lowered him, too. and finally himself. they made it off the mountain. that is when it happened. the helicopter began to peel away. a burst of gunfire erupted below. he was wounded, and by the time they reached the nearest base, he was gone.
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of those men on the mountain that night, only seven made it out alive. three of them owed their lives to the actions of richard etchberger. today, we are honored to be joined by one of them. among the few of an -- among the few who knew of his actions, there is a belief that his valor warranted this nation's highest military honor. but the mission was secret, and that is how it stayed for many years. when their father missions -- when their fathers mission was declassified, but they learned that their mother had known about his work all along, but she had been sworn to secrecy, and she kept that promise to her husband and her country all those years. not even telling her own sons. today is also a tribute to catherine, and a reminder of the
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extraordinary sacrifices our military spouses make on behalf of the nation. the story might have ended there, with the family finally known the truth -- knowing the truth, and for decades, it did. but today marks a chapter in the larger story of our nation finally honoring that generation of vietnam veterans who served with dedication and courage, but all too often were shunned when they came home. that must never happen again. a few years ago, and air man who never even knew richard etchberger read about his heroism and felt he deserved something more. so he wrote his congressman, who made his -- who made it his mission to get this done. we think that congressman and that airman.
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they made this day possible. sadly, his wife catherine did not live to see this moment. today, your nation finally acknowledges and fully honors your father's bravery. because even though it has been 42 years, it is never too late to do the right thing, and it is never too late to pay tribute to our vietnam veterans and their families. in recent years, dick's story has become known and air force bases have honored him with streets and buildings in his name. the place where he trained so long ago in clarksdale, louisiana, there is an apartment with an empty space next to his name. that space can finally be etched with the words "medal of honor." the greatest memorial to richard
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etchberger is the spirit we feel today, the love he felt for his country and his family. and most eloquent -- the most eloquent expression of the devotion are the words he said to a friend just months before he gave his life for his nation. "i hate to be away from home," he wrote, "but i believe in the job. it is the most challenging job i have ever had in my life. i love it. " our nation in doors because there are patriots like chief master sgt richard etchberger, who love this nation and defended. their legacy lives on because
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their families preserve them. as americans, we remain worthy of their example only so long as we honor, not merely with the medals we present, but by remaining true to the values and freedoms they respected. please join me in welcoming steve, richard, and cory for the reading of the citation. [applause]
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>> the president of the united states of america, authorized by an act of congress, has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to chief step -- chief master sgt richard etchberger for intrepidity in the call of duty. he distinguished himself with extraordinary heroism in 1968 in the country 1968laos. -- in 1968 in the country 1968 -- of loas. the base was overrun by the
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enemy ground force. receiving sustained in withering a heavy artillery attacks directly on his position, and his crew lay dead or severely wounded. despite having received little or no combat training, he single-handedly held off the enemy within in 16, simultaneously directing air strikes and calling for air rescue. because of his fierce defense and heroic, selfless actions, he was able to deny the enemy access to his position and save the lives of his remaining crew. with the arrival of the rescue aircraft, heat without hesitation repeatedly and deliberately risk his own life, exposing himself to heavy enemy fire to place three surviving wounded comrades in to rescue slayings -- slings. with his remaining crew safely aboard, he finally climbed into the evacuation sling himself,
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only to be fatally wounded by enemy air fire as he was raised in the aircraft. his actions are in keeping with the highest standards and traditions of military service. his gallantry, self sacrifice, and profound concern for his fellow men at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the united states air force. [applause]
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>> let us pray. oh, lord, as we close our ceremony in our hearts have been stirred by chief richard etchberger'stores and of sacrifice, we pray that we respond to the cause of peace and freedom. we pray for your protection to be upon american sons and daughters to stand in harm's way today, and for their loved ones who patiently, prayerfully wait -- may our efforts, dear lord, lead
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to a more secure and prosperous world where they may live in harmony with you in one another. amen and amen. >> thank you very much, everyone. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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♪ . .
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>> do you still feel an attachment to the air force among your family? >> great question. i do. i was an air force brass. when my dad was killed, we were separated from the air force of the time. one -- and the initial information came up, the air force started to bring us back
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into the fold by naming facilities after him, street after him back, -- streets after him, that sort of thing. not only do we get to see and honor and our father, but we spend a lot of time meeting air men talking about life beyond the military. we have really been welcomed back into the family, both my brothers and myself, back into the air force family. >> thank you very much. question -- >> question. >> can you tell us a little bit about what this medal of honor means for you and your brothers, and it coming after so many years? >> i think, first off, personally for me, my dad was a really great dad beyond being a great air force person. and the missions he went on in
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his time in the military, it included -- he never really had to talk about that because we were in an air force family. when this all came now, initially, we were told he was killed in a helicopter crash. a little later that year, -- i could not figure out why he was getting an air force cross for and -- for a helicopter crash. later on, we were told exactly what he had done. it was an emotional time, of course. we knew he was that kind of person. today, when i was up there accepting the medal of honor, it was again, a very emotional time. a lot of things came back to me up there. mostly thinking of the days when dad would say to me whenever i would go somewhere, cub scouts or wherever, remember you are
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part of the air force. that is what i thought out here today. it really helped me a lot of there. >> if your father worked here today, what do you think he would say? >> i think my dad would be very humble about it. one of the things he impressed upon us as kids was, you have a job to do. he was that kind of person. he was a very, you know, very particular about things, and he was the kind of guy who would say, i was just doing my job up there. a lot of times we would have folks from the hospital come over. we were right there during the vietnam war. i think he would be proud of his achievements.
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>> we are told he had very little combat training. >> i talked to someone yesterday about that. i had never seen my dad pick up a weapon. certainly, they thought that mountain was impregnable up their. -- up there. that is the kind of thing that i believe my dad would do. grab the gun and make it work. i have an 11-year-old daughter named molly. my mom passed away before i had my daughter. i really look back at the way my dad raised me and the way my grandparents raised my father as a model for the way i want to
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raise my daughter. we are trying to do the right thing, trying to build character, those kinds of things. we have that tradition in my family. >> last question. >> i was just wondering -- the senate is voting on don't ask, don't tell. do you and your families have any thoughts on that? >> no, not at this time. >> tonight, a dinner hosted by the log cabin republicans, an advocacy organization for gays and lesbians. then the house hearing on immigrant farm workers, including testimony from comedienne stephen colbert. then a speech by the palestinian president mahmoud a boss -- abbas. >> later, the author of "mad as
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hell." then i talk on immigration issues, the pathway to citizenship for children of some illegal aliens. and then, a talk on protecting student athletes from concussions. we will have your calls and e- mail. that is at 7:00 eastern on c- span. >> i really underestimated how big the job was. i had not been the minority whip. i jumped from minority whip to speaker overnight, and from a minority party that nobody thought was going to be in power to leaving -- two leading a wave of votes in the biggest increase in a party on an off year in american history. >> newt gingrich on a possible 2012 presidential bid and his history as speaker.
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>> the c-span network. coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. all available on television, radio, online, and social media networking sites. fine content any time through the c-span video library. and our local content vehicles are bringing our resources to your community. it is washington your way. now available in more than 100 million homes. >> now, at a dinner hosted by the log cabin republicans, an advocacy organization for gays and lesbians. speakers include members of congress. this is about two hours.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. we do not have a dinner bell. thank you. actually, was that mr. wall over there or was that mr. norquist that rang the dinner bell? i have some quick remarks. i will let ken mehlman start the evening off. there we go. that is okay. that is all right. >> while we figure that out -- that is okay. do not worry. thank you very much for being here at the 2010 log cabin republican national dinner. [applause]
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earlier tonight, some of our supporters of our political action committee were at an event with chairman john cornyn and and one of the things that was said, other than the financial fiscal challenges and lack of fiscal restraint by the obama administration or the lack of attention or care to individual liberties of americans by this congress, we talked about the need for dialogue. not only across party lines, but within the party. that is something that log cabin republicans have been doing for quite awhile. for decades, actually. we have a number of leaders who actually were at the beginning in the 1970's when the log cabin was a coffee club in living rooms in california.
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i want to start out by recognizing our sponsors. we would not be able to pull off tonight without the sponsors who helped underwrite this event of this evening. american airlines is a private sponsor. -- platinum sponsor. [applause] mr. bill thibeaux from new orleans. [applause] crag. craig engel. mr. dan woods of white cape. [applause] the gay and lesbian leadership institute. [applause] i would like you to know that they did not mind having their name associated with log cabin. i was talking about the early
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days when some of you were not even born. [applause] i think i will pay for that one. [laughter] last but not least, our sponsor for nevada. michael sorrel. [applause] stephen gale and gabriel cole. [applause] our silver sponsors, and my -- john herrick. and mine predecessor mr. richard taffle.
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[applause] another silver sponsor that wears multiple hats is the chairman of the liberty education forum, mr. thomas wall. [applause] and mr. fred carter, he is actually running for president. he is an openly gay republican running for president. yes, it does happen. [applause] while we are working on ken's message, we will discuss why this is such a full room. who cannot remember or not forget the 2008 cycle? ok, this is where i stop everything.
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we will start every -- we will start over. no worries. this was a phone call right before the dinner. it is fine. >> welcome to the log cabin republican national dinner. this is ken mehlman. on behalf of every adult american to marry the person that they love,. they're keeping me in new york tonight. your support and advocacy for individual liberty of responsibility will help insure inclusion in the republican party. congratulations to the award winners this evening and to the endorsement of reginald.
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be sure to come to dallas tx for the log cabin education forum in april 2011. thanks. have a good evening and again, i am very sorry i can't be with you. [applause] for safety's sake, that is not going to be the last you hear from him. those of you that are here from new york, you got to have a preview. he was able to attend an event last week and he will be working with us on a more close basis. those of you may recognize that picture. that picture is a few years old, i think. thank you rnc for the photograph.
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speaking of the campaign committees, i need to move forward. one of our partners that we have been working with, you heard in the message about candidates. we just rolled out our list of republicans that are incumbents that are supportive of equal rights, and won that non- discrimination repeal of don't ask don't tell. there are a set that could not have been here. there are new candidates out there. based on recommendations from our colleagues, we should endorse them. i am proud to say that we rolled out 14 endorsements last week. that is new.
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[applause] at this point, i would like to introduce a colleague and friend from the nrcc. he heads up coalitions with log cabin republicans. a like to introduce mr. michael bober. >> thank you very much. let me start off by saying that as much as i hate to contradict a gracious host, we never ask any outside group to endorse or support candidates. we do actively communicate and make sure that every candidate out there and every organization that is out there working on electing good republican candidates knows what the landscape looks like so that they can make informed decisions on their own. [laughter] i just want to make sure that
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that is clear. we at the nrcc never ask an outside organization to endorse our candidates. that is just not right. my name is mike bober. when chairman pete sessions took over the committee, he made it clear that he wanted to work with any organization. any organization that wants to help us achieve our goal helps us to see the landscape as we see it. chairman sessions wanted to be here tonight. when votes were counted on tuesday, it required it to
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happen on wednesday evening. as a result, chairman sessions is in the committee right now. he sends his apologies and he sends a video greeting for all of you. >> as chairman for the congressional committee, i have one mission. to retire nancy pelosi as speaker of the house. [applause] i am here to tell you that our chances for victory have never looked better. we have the recruits, we have the message and we have the momentum to win. for almost two years, we have sponsored republican candidates from coast to coast. with one primary left to be decided, it is clear that we have succeeded.
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we challenged our candidates. to help them go from good to great to victory. we have 75 of the very best that have reached the top. some have announced their retirements. we aim to cost them plenty more. this election is about the democratic job killing agenda. what they have done since taking the house in 2006 and 2008 and what they plan to do next. in poll after poll across the country, we see people angry at a government that talks too much and does not listen enough. with that kind of track record, it is no surprise that the
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approval rating of the president is below 35%. historically, when the president's approval rating is below 50%, his party loses an average of 41 seats. we believe that this can be an above average year. it has been made clear that the nrcc is happy to work with those who want to share our goal for a republican house. our allies [unintelligible] economic recovery and job creation. polls show republicans leading in every national indicator. republicans are now twice as likely as democrats to describe themselves as very enthusiastic.
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but we cannot allow all of the good news and positive predictions. -- to make as complacent. you cannot celebrate a win if you cannot cross the finish line first. it is 40 days until november 2 and we all need to redouble our efforts between now and then to make sure we finished strong. we are counting on you to keep up the good work, to keep knocking on doors, keep dialing phones to give candidates across the country your support. on behalf of the national republican congressional committee, thank you for all of you have done in the name of those ideals. i urge you to continue your efforts. with your help, we will win in november.
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thank you, very much. i hope you have a good evening. [applause] >> honestly, the chairman says it better than i ever could. i will just thank you on his behalf. thank you for everything that you have done. thank you for your help in special auctions and in house races across the country. definitely keep up the good work. do not hesitate to come to us to let us know what else we can do to help you be as effective as we can be. [applause] >> ok, since we are talking a little bit about taxes, i would like to mention that our dallas chapter has something coming up. those of you find your way to the great state of texas, they do it big down there.
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we just talked about retiring pelosi. do you know who is here tonight? her challenger is here tonight. [applause] that is right. we have a candidate, a log cabin republicans endorsed candidate running against nancy pelosi. [applause] not only is john dennis here, we have a number of californians here from multiple california chapters tonight. so, i am proud to introduce john dennis who will help us retire nancy pelosi.
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[applause] look at that button we got john. >> thank you, so much. i am john dennis and i am running against nancy pelosi. [applause] i never miss the opportunity to deliver that line. in this fire nancy pelosi campaign, a lot of literature says that my opponent votes 94% of the time with nancy pelosi. i can guarantee you one thing. my opponent votes 100% of the time with nancy pelosi. i am glad that she made the time to let me have a few
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minutes. we have to do some special thing that says that it is a challenging district for those that are familiar with san francisco. you have to do unusual things. i do not know if any of you happened to see the video that we released last week. did any of the see that video? it depicts nancy pelosi as the wicked witch of the west. it went viral. it has been seen about 638,000 times. there are wiccans that oppose us over this. the one good thing about that is that we got the log cabin
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endorsement and it went to show that i really am a friend of the friends of darth. -- i really am a friend of the friends of dorothy. so that worked out well. [applause] people have asked me why i decided to do this. it has been a long time. i have been doing it for about a year now. i got involved in politics a few years ago. this is my first run at office. i thought i would aim low. [laughter] i was frustrated with my own party for a lot of reasons. i was disappointed with what happened between 2000 and 2006 and i got married five years ago and my daughter turned for and i looked at her future and what we are burdening her generation with. it got me motivated to get involved.
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one of the things that has delighted me to know is that harvey milk supported barry goldwater for president. i love knowing that. on the surface, it does not make sense. but if you think about it, it makes complete sense. the community had a tough time with government and the government was always on its back. they connected with the community. that is where the gay community belongs, in the republican party. [applause] with our emphasis on individual liberty, i pointed out to somebody today that the word liberty does not turn up in the democratic party platform until about page 29. i think this is really your
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home. i am running on a campaign that emphasizes individual liberty because i think that that is the uniting force in american politics. i watched it happen in the campaigns i worked on. i have seen them come together to fight for that principle. that is our highest political value. that is what we all share in common. it allows us to look beyond our differences. i would like to ask you how we are doing. we are pulling a multiple of republican parties. we are just beginning to connect with the district and we could use your help. i have a feeling it would not be hard to twist the arms of some people in this room to come to san francisco. [laughter]
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please come and we will knock on doors. i could also use your financial help. the dollar works in san francisco as well as it does anywhere. i appreciate your support so far. i look forward to more of it. thank you very much for having me. [applause] those of you from the san francisco chapter, please let let yourself be known to john dennis before he leaves this evening did before we go further, i want to connect some dots for some in the room that may have not put that together. you just heard from a pro- equality republican candidate. [applause] anybody that went to university with me knows that i was not
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too great at math. senator corn andin took a lot of heat. -- senator cornyn took a lot of heat. he got it from the far right tonight. he helped raise money to night to get folks like john dennis elected. the senator and i have some differences on some things. he understands what it is important to get pro-equality republicans elected. we are helping get people like john dennis elected to congress. [applause] speaking of friends, i want to introduce one of our great,
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great allies who is tied to one of our great, great icons in the republican party and in log cabin republicans. everyone here who is a conservative knows how will break in is not only a hero to us republicans, but a hero to log cabin republicans and his fight against an initiative that would have banned gays and lesbians teaching in the classrooms in california. connecting more dots here. when ronald reagan was president, he needed help on fighting tax encroachment, over extension of government and he went to this man, grover norquist. those of you who were here have probably gone to his wednesday meetings at americans for tax reform. if you work on a campaign, you probably have to get that form that grover is very good about
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sticking into the hands of candidates and getting it signed. i want to introduce a friend and ally. one thing that he has to get credit for, because he can be really shy sometimes. he has been a center point for multiple conservative entities because of cic. myself and others sit in the same room with other republicans in washington. that is how we do this. i would like to introduce grover norquist. [applause] >> thank you.
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there are two teams in the united states. >> there are two teams. for 100 years, the teams were -- you may get a really a lucrative radio talk show after your election, but you do not get to ride in air force one. there are two teams. for 100 years, the teams were divided north and south, regionally. there were recently it little old ladies in mississippi who agreed with ronald reagan on everything and voted with george mcgovern because general sherman had been to atlanta recently. but during the time of ronald reagan, the two political parties sorted themselves out in a rational way. thanks to ronald reagan's leadership, the local coalitions fell out. this confuses people on our
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team sometimes. often it confuses people on the other team. our team is a leave us alone coalition. why are people in the ronald reagan republican party? taxpayers want to be left alone. property owners want their property rights respected. the national rifle association. all we are asking for is our second amendment rights. home schoolers do not go knocking on your door telling you to a home school. they simply wish to be left alone. [laughter] the one thing they vote on it is they wish to be the most important thing in their lives, practicing their faith and raising their children. they wish to be left alone to do so. they are not asking for the government to make everyone an
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episcopalian. they just wish to be left alone. sometimes leadership asks for a second desserts, but when you look at the mission, what their supporters are voting on is they wish to be left alone to practice their own faith. in our coalition, yes. the guy who wants to make money all day looks across the table at the guy who wants to go to church all day, and they both look at the guy who wants to fondle his guns all day, and they say that is not how we spend our time. what is important is our freedom. our coalition is a low maintenance coalition. it holds together as long as we understand why everybody is around the table. on the other team, i got a call when hillary clinton was supposed to be the obvious
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domination for vice president of the united states, and she gave a speech saying progressives were in d.c.. i explained that everybody wishes to be left alone. not on everything, but they wish to be left alone on of vote moving issue. and, the left have had more trouble around their table. a round hilary's table, stolen by obama, around that table you have trial lawyers, the big city political machines. these are the people locked into welfare dependency and the people who make $90,000 a year, managing the dependency of others, making sure none of them get jobs and become republicans. [laughter]
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and then we have our friends, the coercive utopians, you want government grants to push everyone else around. they are too small to flush completely. [laughter] and their little list of things you have to do or you are not allowed to do is slightly longer and more tedious than leviticus. [laughter] now, at their table can get along as long as we are foolish enough to keep throwing taxpayer money in the center of the table. if we do that, then they can sit around a table and get along the way, you know, bank robbers in the movies. one for you, one for you, one for you. that is a happy coalition of the other table. if we do our job right and is say "no new taxes," and mean it and do not give them more money
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from people who earned it -- [applause] and a pile of cash in the center of the table begins to dwindle. it is a little bit more like the second to the last seen in those lifeboat movies. [laughter] they begin to wonder who they are going to eat or throw overboard. our job is to stop tax increases that feed -- because again, the reason why our friends on the left do not get along when they see the pile dwindling is they are not made up of friends and allies. they are made up of competing parasites. and if we do not let them gnaw on taxpayers, they will turn on each other. step one.
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do not raise taxes. a group that ronald reagan put together and he let me run, this simply asked all candidates to sign a pledge not to raise taxes. in the brand new moderate republican party. thank you. . . publican party. thank you. 95% of republicans take the pledge and keeping it. for 16 years, from clinton's tax increase to obama's tax increase 16 days into his presidency, there is a 16-year time without a tax increase out of washington, d.c., courtesy of the blood taken by republican
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congressman and senators. -- courtesy of the pledge taken by republican congressman and senators. if we focus on the pledge -- and we have branded the republican party as the partyhat will not raise your ta guenons been so much modern to load but,it may do other foolish things, but it will not raise your taxes. this is very important in the election. having branded it that way, it is important to maintain that rabb. branding coca-cola, having quality control -- to go home and you know what is there. you do not have to ask people what is there. you do not have to read the ingredients. you do not have to ask for a taste. but if you get home and you
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notice are rat head in what is left of your coke -- [laughter] you do not say to yourself, "i wonder if i will finish all the rest of this bottle of coke." you go on tv, show them the cool rat head. republicans who vote for tax increases are the rat head. they damage the brand. this is part two. we have had a problem with spending over the last eight years. the tea party movement, probably the fifth wave of immigration into the modern republican party, it came in and sat at the table and said, there is another thing you cannot do.
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and that is been too much. and so, the really good news is the enthusiasm of the tea party people strengthens the republican party. during the stalin purges, there was the observation that the purges would lead to fewer, but perhaps better communists. the good news is thanks to the tea party activism, after this election, we are going to have more and better republicans. thank you. [applause] better republicans. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, grover. are you all fired up yet? [cheers] [laughter] all right.
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we have been talking a lot about retiring nancy pelosi. we have been talking a lot tonight about better, stronger republicans. and so to help do that, to lea the way, there are terrific republicans that are here today. they are pro-equality republican members of congress. i will emphasize- every time for the log cabin republicans political action committee goes to these congressman, to these incumbents and candidates. nd i am very proud to introduce our first incumbent here tonight, from new orleans, louisiana -- [applause] and no pressure to the board's. we are talking about going down to a new orleans in january.
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he reminded me that if we do not get him reelected, we might not come down there in january. congressman gower, thank you. [applause] >> thank you for the nice introduction. for those of you who have not been in new orleansecently, it is a nice place to visit. in the french quarter, we have quite a large population of gays and lesbians who live in the french quarter. your support in that area would be quite helpful to me in november. withhat being said, thank you for inviting me here tonight. i am pleased to briefly speak with you. for me, with respect to issues concerning gays and lesbians, it
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is an issue about justice. i was, before coming to congress, i was a jesuit seminarian for 15 years. during my time in the society of jesus, i've learned some very important principles i still live by. and one of those -- what are some of those principles, first of all? that we serve the nds of the elderly. that we serve the needs of the orphans. and that we've fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. and one of those honestly as the fight for justice for everyone. so, i have been living up to those principles. i have been living up to those principles the last two years in
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the house of congress. serving as a congressman from new orleans, i am very cognizant of seein many social issues we are confronted with, post- katrina, the process and the history of inuality there, and more specifically, with the ongoing fight to bring everything that we need to do in order to rebuild our area and help our citizens to rebuild their lives and continue living at a life that god wants all of us to live. that is why inhe house, i was very proud to co-sponsored the repeal of the last motel. [applause]
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thank you. and i could-sponsored and voted for the bill for a vry simple reason. and that is the value of justice. and if we were to look at the numbersand the numbers really speak for themselves. nce don't ask, don't tell beme the official military policy in 2003, more servicemen and women have been kicked out under its restricon on openly gay service. and sadly these servicemen and women who lose promising military career is over this unfair policy are not the only americans who suffer. everyone suffers because of this unfair policy. the loss of military personnel with valuable skills is a compromise to our national security, and this is a concern
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during times of war. therefore, i agree with the log cabin mission statement, that u.s. military policy should stay focused on fighting terrorism, which is a threat to all americans, regardless of sexual orientation. all military personnel should be held accountable to the rules and regulations of the military, or should be equally judged and their conduct -- and their conduct judged on those rules. this should not be discriminated danced based on sexual orientation. -- they should not be discriminated against based on sexual orientation. [applause] thank you. it is high time, theu. join the ras of other countries like canada, israel, italy, in allowing citizens who are openly
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gay or lesbian to serve in their country -- to serve their country and in the military, because after all, it is a matter of fairness. in march, my wife and our two daughters and i were deeply touched when we accompanied my colleague john lewis to georgia and many other congressional colleagues on a trip organized by the faith in politics institute. we went to selma, alabama for a memorial, and we saw firsthand the bridge that was made famous by bloody sunday. we saw with our own eyes the highway where congressman lewis and others, including pioneers like dr. martin luther king himself, marched peacefully into
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the ports of inequality. my family can only imagine how they suffered as the alabama highway patrolman answered their orderly procession with billy clubs and handcuffs. as a non-american who did not grow up in the jim crow era, there is no way i can ever understand the pain and injustice these champions of justice suffered for a righteous cause, nor can i know exactly the suffering of the service man or womanho has be kicked out of the military just because he or she is gay. [applause] yet, there is also something universal in the stories of those who suffered discrimination, that everne can rele to. because people than the human spirit is a god-given under for fairness -- deep within the
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human spirit is a god-given under -- hunger for fairness. to that extent, i share more specific common ground with anyoneho knows what it is like to live outside the mainstream or what might be considered by the american standard as a normal life. for one thing, as been the first eight years of my life in a country torn by war. when my home of saigon fell to the north vietnamese communists in 1975, my father, who was imprisoned, the north vietnamese communist gornment, and he spent seven years in the re-education camp, suffering physical torture as well as mental and emotional humiliation. today, my father still bears the scars of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his oppressors.
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that is the first -- as the first and only vietnamese- american serving in congress, i viki understanding of what it is like to be a minority, -- i have an understanding of what it is like to be a minority, since i am the only one. [laughter] [applause] if you are facing discrimination of any kind, whether it is your skin color, sexual orientation, or something else. it is all about overcomg what those of us who lived through hurricane katrina know very well -- adversity. the diversity i encountered has helped me a great deal learn about the deeper meaning of life and humiliation. earlier, i set out to lead r righteous life. as i said, after i graduated from baylor with a degree in
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civics, i decided to drop mine -- a degree in physics, i decided to drop my dream of being a physicist and become a does a good priest. during my time in the society of jesus, i saw the suffering of the poor, the suffering of the refugees, as well as the fight for equality and for justice of many sectors of society. and so, after consideration, i decided to leave the religious life and a eventually found my way to the house of congress. my election has been considered one of the great anomalies of 2008. [laughter] as you know, in an asian- american, a republican representing a district that is --
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[applause] i represent a district that is 70% democrat and 60% african- american. so needless to say, i have the toughest reelection fight of any republican. [laughter] but the obstacles can be overcome. we overcame it two years ago, and we will overcome it this november. [applause] and obviously in order to get there, i will need all of your help. i will need your financial assistance, as well as the hands to knock on tse doors in norland, to get out the vote of the district, -- those stores in
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new orleans, to get out the votes in the district which is very challenging for republican. katrina taught us one thing. and that is our fight against adverse of a -- adversity, we overcame party politics. we overcame the issue of race for us to build good schools for children to fight for safe streets and to do everything we can in order to promote justice for everyone. it is important we look beyond race, we look beyond party to do what is right. i believe people have done that. i hope you can come down and support me in november. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, it is the distinct honor and privilege to present the spirit of lincoln award to congressman joseph cao. [applause] it is such an exciting evening, that we had an award for grover norquist, and i was so focused on his speech -- and i was building -- there was a link there when i was talking about the conservative inclusion coalition and coalition
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building. there is our reason i mention that. he is the recipient of the log cabin republicans and grass roots award. he is our grass roots winner. [applause] we will have one of our colleagues take the award. i apologize -- i was so engrossed. he is a grass roots leader. i cannot emphasize enough how he was very good about it -- think my first week on the job, i may have been on the job two daysand he invited me to breakfast. and he said, clarke, you have got a lot of work to do. "but i am going to help you." and he helped. thank you, grover. [applause] speaking of leaders, and i am very biased here -- i have to be.
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we talked a lot about pro- equality incumbents and challengers. i am deeply honored to introduce to you our next pro-equality incumbent. this member of congre is a real leader, not only as a republican, not only as a pro- equality leader. she is also -- she came in at a challenging time. there has been a lot of talk about 1994. i remember 1994. i was working for congresswoman leana ros-lehtinen in 1994. if we fire nancy pelosi, and she will be the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee.
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[applause] not only did i work -- and i am going to break protocol -- you know how all formal i am. i have to call her ileana. i cannot call her congress woman. she has been a tremendous influence on my life. she and dexter have been a tremendous influence on me. i am proud to have her as mentor and a friend. and so, i am going to lose it here. you all need to know, she is the first republican to join the lgbt republican equality caucus in congress, by the way. [applause] man, congresswoman ileana ros-
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lehtinen. [applause] [inaudible] >> i told clarke, there is no crying in a log cabin. thank you but so much. what a great honor to be with you. thank you, clarke, for that wonderful introduction. he is a terrific executive director for the log cabin republicans. as you heard, he is always part of our congressional familia. you can never leave. we set you back in. -- we suck you back in. over the years, each one of you as made important contributions
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to people rights for all americans. he will have all been part of that, many battles -- you have all been part of that, many battles the community has faced, those that we have one and those we must fight again. because we do not lose, we fight again. and all of us are here as bridges. bridges working to close the gap within the party on lgbt issues in rhetoric as well as legislative action. everyone deserves equal protection and equal treatment under the united states constitution, regardless of their sexual orientation. [applause] my family and auditled the castro dictatorship. how interesting that my good friend joe spoke before me, and he had a similar refugee
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experience. my family and i came to the united states just like joe and his family because it has always een the leader and the advocate of freedom and equality for oppressed people everywhere throughout the world. let us always that beacon of hope and opportunity. as you heard from my good friends clarke, as the founding member of the lgbt caucus, i hope you'll have come to know my work on extending equal rights and eliminate all forms of hate-motivated crime. and those are american ideals. i want to thank you, although i am here as a speaker. but it is really each and every one of you who has made a difference in the community, pecially the hard workers, the
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log cabin republicans for your hard work on this final mission, and it is one of equality. that is a very american mission. your work is making a pfound differenceon the lives of so many americans. hard-working americans who are all too often facing discrimination sply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered. and you are working to reveal discriminatory statutes and make sure the law abides fairly and justice, because those are american ideals. although we have made a lot of progress -- strides in achieving equality in the past few years -- there is some much work still to be done. we all have to work together to ensure true equality happens throughout our nation for each person. and this is a priority not just
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for the lgbt counity, but for all americans. this is an american mission. i am going to continue to do all i can with the power the wonderful voters have given to me to ensure a wonderful country that has given my family and me a new opportunity and life of freedom continues to be a leader on this issue of equality and fairness, and it sets a standard of equality around the world. i encourage you to be with me on this mission. and i hope he will allow me to be on this mission with you. and i hope he will remain committed because this fight is about protecting the rights of all americans. i know that history will be on our side. i am proud to be on this mission with you and to use phrase
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that has been badly misused "yes, we can." thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, this should be no surprise. in the history of log cabin republicans, she is the first member to ever receive twi the spirit of lincoln award. >> all right. yay! [laughter] [applause] >> thank you, clarke. thank you. >> wait. there is more. [laughter] i know that the left is wondering -- while, are they
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just going to end? there is supposed to be only one person talking about equality in the republican party. in happy to introduce -- speang of republicans reject -- and hopefully part of the new majority in january, and also one of the first acts of -- as the new executive director in may was to come and check to charles djou, the freshman republican from hawaii. [applause] is the last oneso know why it ngressman sessions is hanging out with us, they are here to raise money for congressman djou. we are not just fellow republicans. we are army reserve officers. that is right. so let me introduce congressman
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and fellow capt. djou. [applause] >> good evening and hello, everybody. >> hello. >> thank you for having me. thank you for those kind words. capt. means a lot more to me than congressman as the title. [applause] i bring you greetings and it is my pleasure to be here. it is my pleasure to say to all of you as the republican congressman from the hometown of the president of the united states -- [applause] you know, it is also my pleasure to have followed my good colleagues. both of them understan personally from their families
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what it is like to be under a government that promises you everything, because they understand a government that promises to everything is a government that can take everything away from you. [applause] i know it has been a long evening. i do not want to prolong it. i know you all have desert in front of you. what i thought is i would share with you briefly -- this will give you a qui understanding of who i am, what i believe in, and why i believe this organization is so important. what i will share with you tonight is what it was like for me to become a member of the united states congress this past may. when i won my special election. folks, i guess i am the second most junior member of the house. i won the special election this past may and i became the first
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republican to capture a democrat-held seat since 2001, the first year of george w. bush's term as president. let me speak about why i think this institution is so important. you see, ladies and gentleman, gentleman,ileana and joseph, i am a child of immigrants. my father was born in shanghai, china. he arrived as a refugee in 1949. he made his way to immigrate to the united states. my mother was born and raised in bangkok, thailand. she had the opportunity to come to the united states when our nation was engage in a terrible war in southeast asia.
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i know today our nation is engaged in a very long struggle in southwest asia, but just as i believe our nation was in south east asia for the right reasons and cause, i believe we are engaged for the right reasons, for the right cause in southwest asia. [applause] now fol, my mother's side of the family continues to reside in bangkok, thailand. this past may, when i had the opportunity to become a congressman, my immediate family -- wife, daughter, my mother were with me on the floor of the house. but my extended family on my mother's side were watchg on, one of the marvels of modern technology. my uncle, my cousins were watching me on
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those of you who have been following current events, he will know the nation of thailand earlier this year went through terrible in challenging times. for those of you who are not familiar with what happened come up there were tw political factions that got into a very bitter political disputes. the circumstances and the factors that were disputed dover would probably take the rest of this evening, but ndless to say, it was even more bitter than republicans and democrats. these two factions identify themselves as the so-called yellow shirts and the so-called red shirts. what happened was one political faction decided to resolve differences by barricading themselves in the heart of dntown bangkok. they put up trash. they were in the heart of the city. all of it was barricaded.
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their objective was to grind commerce to a halt in the mile of the city. they did not like that, as became very difficult to occur in the center of bangkok. the opposing faction responded. they got a sharpshooter. they put him on top of a very tall building. one night come uphen the political leader of the opposing side was unguarded f less than five minutes in the middle of an evening, he had a bullet ripped through his skull. he was shot. but did not resolve political differences. essentially what happened was the thai army was given an order -- fix it. resolve this political crisis. grover and i mentioned that we
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have served as officers in the united states army. it is incredible to ever give it order as a military officer to open fire on unarmed civilians whom you are sworn to protect and defend. fromhe time the order was given -- fix the political problem -- that is exactly what they did. they sent in the tanks. the tanks went in. the soldiers went in. they broke down the barricades. they told everybody, "go home." you can imagine what happened if you ignored the orders from the soldiers. you were shot on the spot, no questions asked. some barely edged -- summarily executed. ladies and gentlemen, what i want you to know about me and your nation and your organization is on the day i
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walked on the floor of the united states house of representatives for the firs time in my life, my uncles, my aunts, my first cousins were watching on they physically it look like me. they are my family. as a young child, they visited me numerous times in honolulu. i visited numerous times in bangkok. but they grew up in different circumstance. they grew up in thailand. i grew up in the united states. and as my relatives were watching on the television screen, they also were looking outside their window and looking outside their window, they could literally see smoke burning from the heart of their city. they could literally feel the
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vibration of tank treads moving on the cilian payments -- pavements. they could literally see blood in the streets. they could smell of gunpowder in the air. at the exacsame moment at the exact same time, as my cousins, my ankles, my hands were seeing, touching, feeling theseterrible consequences -- they were watching my 7-year-old daughter carried a bible on the floor of the united states house of representatives. they watched me put my left hand on the bible and raised my right hand to take a north of office -- to take an oath of office as a maker of laws in one of the most powerful nations on earth.
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[applause] ladies and gentlemen, i submit to all of you, this is true evidence of the greatness of our nation. this is true witness to the spirit of the american people. this, this is true testimony of the grand nests of our american nation -- grandness of our american nation. i do not want anyone here to ever forget that. i, from a father -- i come from of father who had to flee communist china. they believed that the greatness of our nation is not found in regulation. it is not found in to bureaucracy. the greatss of our nation does not come from the halls of congress. the greatnes of our nation comes from individual americans. it is that individual american
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spirit among individual american entrepreneurship, that is what makes our nation so profound and great. that is why i am happy to be here. it is my belief is our need to keep government out of the way and out of people's lives to preserve, protect, and enrich our nation, to strengthen it, not weaken it. [applause] and, my friends, i want you to know that every single day, every single day tat i have this amazing privilege of being allowed to walk on the floor of the house of representatives and call myself i united states congressman, i want you all to no i will never ever forts -- i want you all to know that i will never er forget and i want you all to no that i have been given an amazing gift. it is a gift given to few people on this planet.
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it is a gift that was only given to my father after being a refugee, aft studying for a number of years. it was a gift given to my mother only after fleeing all were torn off part of this world. it was a gift given to me by nothing more than sheer, raw, dumb luck. that was the gift given to me on the day i was born. it is a gift called american citizenship. [cheers and applause] it is because of this gift that have been incredible honor and privilege ofeing able to stand in front of my fellow americans and ask for the privilege of writing these laws of the land of the most powerful nation mankind has ever known. ladies and gentleman, i want all of you toemember you have this
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gift, too. it is because you are here. it is because you are participatg in your democracy, in an organization like the log cabin republicans, that you have the ality to keep this nation great. as we approach the novembe2 general election -- just 41 days away -- we have a great question in front of us here. whether or not we believe the future of our nation rests in the hands of the iividual ericans i speak so highly of, or whether we believe the future greatness of our nation rests in the hands of nameless states of bureaucrats who will regulate the way our -- regulate away our greatness. i submit to you our greatness and our nation hav been and
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always has been with you, not with politicians like me. thank you very, ver much for inviting me here. god bless all of year. may god bless the united states of america. aloha. [applause] >> please and gentleman, -- laes and gentlemen, it is a distinct privilege to also award the spirit of lincoln award -- and in this case, i am proud to say we are gog to do a little chain -- change here. capt. djou, it is very proud to have you as an ally. thank u very much. [applause] can you believe it? we have more allies?
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it is a growing list every day. we are scaring the left. pelosi is going to retire. speaking of lincoln, coming from the land of lincoln, a very early supporter of log cabin republicans and at an upper level and up to a national level, and partly due to her efforts at the statehouse and now in congress, one of our growing areas of chaptership is in illinois. can you believe that? it is an honor and privilege to introduce congresswoman judy biggert of illinois. [applause] >> thank you, clarke.
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it really is an honor to be here. i am honored to join you and share the podium with all of my colleagues. buyou sure have a lot of people here speaking, so i will be brief. [laughter] i will be brief comment as elizabeth taylor said to her eight husbands -- "i will not keep you long." [laughter] seriously, your friendship and support means a great deal to me. i want to tell you a brief story about how i came to join you tonight, and on some many occasions when we found ourselves on the same side of an issue. back in the dark ages, i finished school at stanford university and decided after not
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a very pleasant year of working in retail -- women had their choice of retail, retail or the typing. being a secretary. i could not type very well. so i decided to go to law school. in one of my first classis, i was told by a professor i was taking the place of someone who belonged there, a man. so, that was back in the 1960's, where i was one of three women out of a class of 500. pretty good pickings there. [laughter] but you will never guess what happened, canyon, and what state this wa in? right. the university of california- hastings. this was just a couple of years
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before anita bryant. i decided i needed to head back to illinois where i could find a job, and i enrolled at northwestern. i decided i would like to get an mba also, and i got a letter backrom northwestern saying, we are sorry. we do not take women in the m.b.a. program. you could take a few courses. th is really why i am so vehement against discrimination, and i do not want to see anybody ever discriminated against. i told the story about law school to one of the chicago-sun times at the editorial board, and one of the editors said, "that sounds just like mad men." i had never watched it. did you see it on sunday night?
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so, i watched it. you know, i tivoed, or what ever you do to it. [laughter] but i think he thought it was life imitating art and not the other way around. i have to tell you, it was the other way around. but i digress. i do not have to tell any of you in this room just how long it takes sometimes to change people's prejudice or change the perception of what is right and what is wrong. if you have been the, you know how much a small victory leads to the goal we seek. nearly 30 years after this experience with the law professor, i had the opportunity to vote in the illinois assembly, where i it served in the 1990's.
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i voted for a discrimination banning -- i voted for a law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. our minority leader was so impressed with my vote and so mad at it that the second time it came up the next year, he basically ied to lock me in the closet. so i could not make the vote. ok, it was not exactly the closet. it was his office. but i escaped and made the vote. so, these experiences, plus patience and perseverance, have really helped me in congress where i worked with great colleagues to ban another form of discrimination, but based on genetic information. we have been working on this
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just as long if not longer than the genetic bill, and i know that it, too, will become law one day. [applause] the stars aligned sometimes. they will align on don't as don't tell and on anda. -- enda. do not be discouraged by the setback this weekend. we have the truth on our side. we have the evidence and a track record of success in the u.k., israel, canad dozens of other nations. you have generals like general petraeus and others who do not think soldiers care one way or the other. i will remain optimistic, as i know you will, too. last, before closing, let me just say that thanks to the
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outstanding and early pr that was put out for tonight's event, i was invited to visit one of my most socially-conservative republican groups in illinois, called taproot. taproot folks were tea pty people before tea party was cool. we had a great discussion about the fiscal mess we were in and taxing, but in the end of the meeting came the real question they wanted to ask me. why was i going to speak at the log cabin group big meeting? i told them i am meeting with the log cabin republicans for the same reason i am meeting with them -- the taproot republican
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[applause] it is because as republicans, we all share the same values. personal responsibility, individual freedom and opportunity, a strong national defense, less spending, less taxing, less government. the vast majority of the tea party republicans, establishment republicans, moderate republicans, a movement conservative republicans alike can all unites behindhese core values. there will always be differences within the party, just as there are within families. but what makes me -- but what makes us a great party is we are true to the party of lincoln and the big tent party of ronald reagan. we will be to with -- we will leave it with these values. we will win with them. thank you for all you do.
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thanks. [applause] >> just so she gets this -- speaking of lincoln -- >> i had to fit lincoln in there somewhere. >> yes, ma'am. >> . judy biggert, another recipient of the spirit of lincoln award. thank you. [applause] just wonderful. >> thank you. oh, remember, folks. that was yet another pro- equality republican you just heard from. and yes, he sessions and john
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cornyn are helping to raise money for her reelection. [applause] there are disclosure issues regarding raising funds, but we certainly cannot preclude talking, discussing with foreign nationals. we have a friend from across the atlantic. trans-atlantic friend. a conservative in the old fund. . i will give him an american legion. a conservative member of parliament is a cabinet minister. they wear two hats over there. i do not know how they do it. they have a fraction of the staff that our members have and they have to do cabinet meetings in addition to dealing with the parliament terry process cost
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the parliamentarian process. while he is here for our conservatives, he serves as an example towards the future of our conservatives. he is an example of where we can go and the republican party. i am very proud to say that a friend of mine and a colleague of mine that served with me, then a parino, our spokesperson for the white house. i saw bob here. he is the chairman and the current state -- current party chairman for the d.c. republican party. bob may know where i am going with this. dana has been talking a different state party events, and at a state party of that hosted by the chairman, dana stood up and said that it is about time that the republican
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party started running candidates for congress for federal, national office regardless their sexual orientation. we have not done that yet. we hav done it in the uk. without further ado, minister nick herbert. [applause] >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. thank you so much for having me here to speak to you. it is a huge are. first of all, i am not here to secure votes. -- to seek your votes for money. well, maybe -- [laughter] i want to talk to you about the journey in which the modern conservative party has made over
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the last few years in the united kingdom. a journey that in may of this year saw the leader of our party, david cameron, walked into tim downing street to become prime minister. i want to talk to you about what that journey means to me and millions of people like me in the u.k. and what it could mean for others, too. when i was born, homosexual conduct in the united kingdom was a crime. recently, i watched a very moving documentary where people, with tears in their eyes, would describe how they had been are rested and imprisoned -- been arrested and imprisoned for doing things that harmed no other person, but was judged to be within the purview of the
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criminal law. the things that we would not consider possible should be crimes now. yet, they were within living memory. that law was repealed in the 19 sixties -- in the1960's and it was repealed through the leadership of members of parliament and the house of commons who saw that it was unjust. the march towards equality did not stop. over the course of the last 10 years, in the u.k., in the spirit of bipartisanship, we have seen laws passed which of reduced the age of consent in
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the u.k.. we have seen the introduction of civil partnerships conferring on same-sex couples all of the entitlements and legal status of marriage and i am honored and grateful that i can stand before you today, wearing a wedding ring, because i was able to enter into a single partnership thanks to those legislators before i joined the house of commons who saw that it was no longer tenable to stand in the way of two people who want to publicly express their commitment to each oer. 10 yrs ago, too, we passed a law to say that it was no longer acceptable that openly gay people should not be able to
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serve in the mility. [applause] now, i have to take care. i am a british minister. i am not here to interfere with your internal affairs, to judge. as i said, when i came over here in february, i am here neither for the tea party or any other. [laughter] but i can report to you that, as a matter of fact, under the last 10 years, there has been no reduction in the combat effectiveness of our troops in the united kingdom. [applause] it is a funny thing that the gays who are serving in the miliry in the u.k., who are currently in afghanistan, who
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were in iraq, they are not just sitting in their tents in their barracks listening to madonna cd is. they are fighting for their country and they are fighting alongside your trip startetroop. they are fighting for liberty. [applause] we have passed laws to allow gay couples to adopt. we passed laws to forbid services to be offered to people except on the basis of nondiscrimination. we passed laws which forbid the incitement to violent hatred against gay people. i should say, especially to a
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conservative audience, an audience that shares hesitation about the value of laws and they worry about the infringement of freedom. the trespass of individual conscience the social legislation can represent. i worry about these things. gx, what is significant about these laws that were passed and this
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march towards equality is that it began as an initiative by the previous labor government and very soon, it became an initiative that was supported by my party. increasing numbers of parliament saw themselves walking through the same lobbies as labor members of parliament. because we realized that changes have to be made. when david cameron became leader of our party a few years ago, he made his first speech to our party conference. that is like a huge convention of all the party activists around the country. in that speech, he spoke about the importance of marriage,
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which is something that he has put at the center of his political agenda. he spoke about the value of marriage and of commitment. then he paused and said, "by the way, when i am talking about the significance of this, i am talking about whether it is a man and a man or a woman and woman for a man and woman. at that moment -- [applause] the conservative party applauded. we all knew that the conservative party had changed in the u.k. and that politics had changed, too. later he issued an apology for an unjust piece of legislation that had been passed by a previous conservative government's, forbidding schools to teach the value of same-sex relationships. a measure that was seen as
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unjust and unkind. it was only a few years ago, when no member of parliament would admit to being openly gay, it began to change tim years ago. when i was elected in 2005, i was the first conservative to be openly gay when i was elected. in the last election, there were 20 conservative candidates that were openly gay. [applause] 15 of them were elected. wh i was before the selection committee, nobody asked me if i was gay. nobody cared that i was gay. what mattered to them was that they thought that i share the value that the share.
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what mattered was that i was talking about the things that your representatives have been talking about this evening. about liberty, about the limits of government, about the importance of unlocking potential, of giving everybody a chance. it should be an article for the right of opportunity. if you cannot believe in equality of opportunity and then stand in the way of people whose only crime is that they want to be given the same chance as everybody else. the same chance in sports, the same chance in business, the same chance in public life they do not want people to say that they are gay. they simply want to be who they aren't to succeed. as your previous speakers have said, i believe that there is no incompatibility at alletween the bracing -- between embracing
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equality whether they are black, white, gay or straight. it matters only what they believe. we are focusing on dealing with homophobic bullying in schools through we are ensuring that there is equality in the workplace. we are going to quash those convictions that were earned -- so that those people do not have any kind of mark against their name anymore. it is also the declared purpose of our government that we should not be afraid when talking to a fellow government partner, to
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promote and stand up for these values of equality and tolerance that we subscribe to in the uk. a few months ago, i took part in a pride march in warsaw. [applause] it was the first time that the pride march had been held in a eastern european country. only a few years earlier, sh a thing could not have been contemplated when these countries were under the grip of communism. today, i found time to go to the national portrait gallery in the city and watch a film of ronald reagan challenging gorbachev to tear down not wall -- teardown that wall. [applause] what did we think we were challenging for? it was for the right of those
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young men and women in those countries in eastern europe and russia to be free. to choose who they are. to say what theyant to say without fear of state penalty. when i saw the thousands of young people, gaand straight, marching on euro-pride, i found it to be a moving experience because it was the freedom that have been one for them -- won for them by the courage of thr fathers and by the determination of this country and the political leadership. what it made me realize is this. there may be setbacks.
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there may be times when it seems that the quality -- that full equality is a long way off. this is a global march which is moving in only one direction. it is moving in the direction of uality because in the end, people want to be free. the state cannot stand in front of that freedom and blocked it forever. [applause] that is why i believe that politics will change across the world in favor of the quality, just as it has changed so fast in the united kingdom. that is why i celebrate all of you are doing here to make it possible in your own country.
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thank you. [applause] >> wak we have got something for you. it is a distinct pleasure and honor to recognize not only a conservative ally, but one of our nato allies. this is the first bilateral lincoln spirit of lincoln award. they comvery much. >> they, very much. -- thank you, very much. >> thank-you, very much. >> i think we have been challenged by our fellow conservatives. is it 20 out conservatives in the parliament? >> 50. -- 15.
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>> speaking of canada, i do want to recognize that we have a lot of candidates that have been enrsed by log cabin republicans. we have tended is running from school board all the way the -- we have candidates running for school board all way to congress. the idea to publicize that information came from eric's office, the minority whip. there are a few of them to night. if you have a chance to talk to them, i want you to know that greg reynolds from florida is here. he is running for the state house.
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[applause] i see my future councilman, mark morgan is running for ward 1 here in the district of columbia. [applause] i am not missing in the body, am i? -- anyone, am i? it is a growing list. moving away from the legislative side, i am sure you have been wondering about the judicial side of things. log cabin republicans have been involved in the three theater from 43 campaign attack on the repeal of the don't ask don't tell statute. [applause] this is not new. i mentioned earlier that another predecessor of mine is here.
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this is something under his tutelage as well. [applause] this was filed back in 2004 and came to fruition this summer with a ruling from judge virginia phillips and her court that don't ask don't tell is unconstitutional. [applause] it violates the constitution and denies first and fifth amendment rights to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, all service personnel. we did not do this alone. obviously, the judicial process was a wonder we have won an initial battle and we still have many battles, of course. it was a procedural vote. congress is still in session. there will be a lame duck
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session. speaking of ducks, we have to get ours and our rol -- hours in a row -- ours in a row. our big partner in reaching that movable metal is my dear friend and fellow log cabin republican member, alex nicholson. [applause] >> here i am again. i love this group. i want to say couple of things. i am the public face of log cabin republicans verses united states of america, the don't ask don't tell lawsuit. [applause]
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thank you. i was happy to join lawsuit in 20006. many of you know the history. it was dismissed pending the naming of someone who has actually been harmed by don't ask don't tell, as if those that are in the military are not suffering a lot. we were very supportive by log cabin and the courage by your support in 2005 and 2006. i was a new activist, but i was somebody who was in the public space already. i came on board as the public later. i remember that i was very nervous about coming on board as
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a law student. i remember asking a former democratic appointee who is active in gay-rights now if he thought this was a good idea. he essentially said that it doesn't matter anyway, that it was not going anywhe. we see now that a lot of people have had to eat a lot of crow because this lawsuit has been very successful. [applause] i just want to say that we have had a lot of successes this year, for which we are extremely thankful. the house vote in may was a significant victory for us in a 17-year bale in this long
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battle. i justant to say that the republicans who voted with us on the floor of the house are heroes because i know thatt is not easy for someone in the republican caucus to vote on this issue. i think that it just goes to show how much these men and women who voted for this that are republicans are truly heroes. i want to say that the vote, yesterday, was a setback. i think that it underscores all the more why this lawsuit is so much more important. we are definitely going to pursue legislative rategy. but it appears that perhaps the
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legal strategy, which many people dismissed, for which many people were hostile to log cabin over the years for pursuing, is perhaps the best route for the quickest in the two don't ask don't tell. the judge will hopefully the bar further discharges and if the obama the administration does not appeal the injunction, problem solved. [applause] i have to say that yesterday's vote was all t more disappointing because as many of you know, we have the votes wound up -- we had 60 votes. we could break the filibuster for the motion to proceed. i have ten a lot of flak for doing this, but you have seen
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me all over the liberal media saying that this is not the fault of susan collins. this is not the fault of olympia snowe, and they were there. harry reid made the vote impossible. i have taken a lot of flak for doing that but i will certainly continue. we were in an organizational coalition meeting today and a certain organizatn said to me, asking me if i was still or to attack kerrey read it. hell yes, i am. [applause] of course, we need to keep putting pressure on our republican friends.
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we need to keep putting pressure on susan collins and olympia snowe and others, but part of putting pressure on them is helping them with cover. it is not an easy vote f them to take. they were prepared to take it yesterday. senate majority leader harry reid made the vote impossible, unfortately. it was a partisan track. it was a nasty trick and it was inexcusable. harry reid there is a significant amount of responsible to for this. -- bears a significant amount of responsibility for this. [applause] i want to wrap up by saying how fortunate we are for the support of log cabin republicans. i have done a lot of offense for log cabin republicans. -- of of of the -- of the events for log cabin republicans.
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i will say this again. it is worth repeating. log cabin republicans were there for us in the beginning. when i started the very first project that we ever did i 2005, log cabin republicans was the first organization to support what we were doing without condition. there were others that came on board later and there were a lot of conditions. logcabin republicans was the strongest organization to support what we have done. we thoroughly as support -- appreciate that support. ts is something that has allowed us continue -- us to continue to do our work. it is not easy being in the room with other organizations that think that we should be subservient to them.
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but we are happy to do it because we are the largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and we need to be represented in the white house when no one else in the room has served under don't ask don't tell. we have a mission and we support that mission. [applause] the last thing i want to say is that the head of servicemen unitedi am frequently in front of crowds being recognized and is acting -- and excepting awards and talking about the issue, but there is mebody else that has been doing everything i have been doing and has been by my side as long as i have been doing it. since he is not the head or the figurehead or the spokesperson, he rarely ever gets recognized or knowledge forhat, but he has done just as much work as i
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have done and sometimes more. i will live met, it is certainly not easy doing it under my command. -- i will admit, it is certainly not easy doing it under my command. he is a former board member of the georgia chapter of log cabin. i am usually the of bausch the one up here talking in being recognized. jarrett is usually sitting at the table answering e-mail for me. he rarely gets recognized. i want to point him out as well. thank you very much for having me. thank you very much for your support. congratulations on having such a wonderful director who has been an amazing allie. -- an amazing alliey.
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[applause] >> alex, jarrett, it has been a pleasure to work with you guys. one of the things that i want to point out that they have done that will not make the news is that in early lobbying efforts in may, there was the backup log cabin was getting republican offices saying, "cou you rectify constituents that have been discharged under don't ask don't tell?" hell yes, we can.
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and we continue to do so. the members of service members united have worked with the lawsuit, with a secretary gates, so with that log cabin republicans are awarding the uncommon courage award to john alexander nicholson iii. [applause] okay, we have covered every branch of government. we have covered an election cycle tonight. social change, you can feel it.
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i cannot in the evening without making a pitch. you heard about candidates that are supporting and a number of you are already committed with sweat equity as well as capital and equity. we need help. we need more. we need help in running operations for it we need help with our legal fund. eric holder is 4 to appeal this. he will appeal it. --president obama is the commander in chief and it is incumbent upon doj to sport the statute. tomorrow, and i could not time it better, tomorrow is when the -- we find out if they're going to appeal. we are praying that nothing comes out before we get through
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our program, but we expect an appeal from the doj. we cannot do it alone. we need your help. we need help getting members of congress we need to fight this case in court. help us out. there will be further opportunities. we would love to see become trustees of log cabin republicans. we would love for you to become supporters of delivery education forum -- the liberty education forum. i had to make that final pitch. if you have any energy left after all this politics and prose, there is an after party. the district of columbia of log cabin chapter is hosting an after party.
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thank you for hosting that. if you are in town and want to see dick brown pass the forum, we are hosting a campout this saturday. -- want to stick around passed before, we are hosting a campout this saturday. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> c-span's local content vehicles are traveling the country as we look at some of the most closely-contested house races leading up to november's midterm election. during a swing through arkansas, we caught up with rnc bus as it came through little rock. >> we are trying to promote the "fighter pelosi -- "fire pelosi" message. she has ruined this country. people are tired of it. we are making people aware of
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the damage that pelosi-reid- obama agenda has done. >> how are you? [unintelligible] >> little rock. [unintelligible] >> we are going to celebrate. oh, yeah. are you hanging in there? we are going to a fighter pelosi.
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-- fire pelosi. [cheering] i love it. good to see everybody. how are you doing? great. are you hanging in there? all right. i sure hope so. that is the goal. everybody is out here. >> [unintelligible] >> oh, yeah, yeah. >> great job. >> thank you, buddy. all right? excellent. you are behaving, right? >> [unintelligible] >> good to see you. are you ok? >> very well. >> a little action going on before the election time. appreciate you coming up.
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how is my -- how is she doing? >> good. >> give her my best. i know how it is. really. i hope it goes well. >> good, great. >> i am proud to represent arkansans all across our state in welcoming to arkansas -- and i want you to give him a rousing arkansas welcome -- the chairman of the republican national committee, chairman michael steele. [cheering] >> the work that we have to do now is of such great importance. it revolves around candidates,
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ideas, issues. at the end of the day, it is going to be people. it is going to be each one of the year. the little or the great amount you do until election day. we want to make sure that people are engaged, they are listening. the cry from the american people is simply "enough, enough." at what point do you think $13 trillion of debt is enough? at what point do you think $1.3 trillion of deficit is enough? how much debt to be -- do we expect a baby born today to carry in their lifetime? right now is $50,000. that is what we are engaging about. [applause] thank you. let's get to work.
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get to work. >> are you worried -- [unintelligible] >> let me be clear. i am tired of the backbiting and the nitpicking. i do not think it is going to spoil it unless we allow it to keep us and take control forever. the focus for me right now is whether we are talking about delaware, were the nominee who is very -- who are the nominee who is very competitive -- i refuse to allow anyone to get in anyway. the goal of the party is to win. whether it is a congressional seat, a gubernatorial stay -- seat, whatever it is. we have an enormous group of candidates.
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we have come along wide. i am not happy with those who find reasons and faults for our candidates. no one is perfect. no one has claimed to be. the people get to decide who wins. not a group sitting in in ivory tower in d.c. or wherever it is. my words have been stop it. let's focus, and then we can worry and all that other stuff -- some to worry about all of that other stuff. >> [unintelligible] >> i blame anyone who is out there nitpicking. so, everybody knows who they are. the reality of it is, let's focus as a party -- the first time is 2004.
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we are winning. it has taken a lot of work by this chairman, the republican national committee through my leadership, our national committee chairman, groups around the country to give us to this point. that is our focus at the end of the day. >> arkansas conservatives are unified. they want change in washington. >> [unintelligible] >> oh, my, gosh, yes. have you heard other was? >> a "new york times" story today. >> keep in mind, we do this a little different, too. we did not play by the old rules where we stood there and stockpile the cash so we could
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have the cash on hand and start getting money in late august and early september. we invested $20 million late last fall, early this year in victory centers like this. i took the risk of saying, look we have to give people look at the cash on hand and say, oh, my , god, you have no money. look at the voters. this is a big difference between winning and losing. if we put all the money in a basket and let it sit there, you are not helping get the candidates in the state elected. you are not organizing the volunteers you need to organize. the folks in washington want to appease those who track those things. i want to do things differently. i have the faith in the
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leadership in the state. put it to work. put it on the streets. the democrats are bragging about attracting voters. really? call me when you get to 1 million, because we are already at 50 million. those moneys have been invested well. i am very proud of that. it is more than enough to carias through november and get our voters to the polls. -- to carry us through november and get our voters to the polls. all right. come on in. welcome to our little "fire pe losi" haven. it is great for you to be a part of this. >> what is the idea behind the boss? >> it really has come out of my
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conversations over the last year or so around the country. they say, will you tell so and so this, will you tell congress that? i decided, you know, we need to go back out and be the bold representation of the frustration of the american people, their desire to bring about change. so, a colleague of mine said, you should have a bus and send it across america. and a boom. here we are. we need to be engaged with the voters, bring in new ideas to the table, and really showcase our candidates. we have such a talented pool of candidates this year. last year, watching bob macdonald and others become the kind of governors that they are. it is tremendous to see how their leadership really takes
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off. and watch what happens this november with the crew we have coming. >> how did you decide -- [unintelligible] >> once it is decided, all right, chairman, you are going to go to all 48 contiguous states, it is just a question of going north or south. angela put it all together. and we started mapping yet. this is the fun part. once the partisan said all right, the chairman is coming to your state's, what do you want to do? the bus is for them. we have computers. we have printers. there is wireless. it is a great workspace. we have a press shop that is
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right here. this is our media shot right here. this right here is -- this is sort of the grilling pad here. given a chance -- when the staff acts of, i grill them. really. -- when the staff acts up, i grill them. really. and -- we were at an event -- [laughter] the -- we were at an event. there was another alabama voter who wants to fire pelosi. >> are you sleeping on the bus? >> my life on the road, actually to be honest, it is rather
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monotonous. you are just driving from one place to another. it is not like you have stops every 20 minutes or half hour or what ever. that part of it you get used to. you have to work. that is where we do a lot of the work. all of the phone calls and things like that. just because i am out here, i have got my files easier, in combination with the chairmen across the country, and plus, we do, you know, we take a break. particularly after a long day. we have had several days or we have six or seven events back- to-back. that is a little bit during. you come and you crash. it is a lot of fun. but it is relaxing. i will admit. it is a great space to work in.
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at the end of it, we will be done. we will get off the bus. the voters vote. >> with the pledge to america today -- >> yes? >> is that the house strategy? or is that going to be going across -- >> no, it is a policy that will go across the entire republican party. i mentioned tonight to our group here, we know how the legislative agenda set out by our legislative leadership. i think is an important agenda. the democrats have spent over one year -- they are investing in jobs, the wealth creators in this country. they have vilify them. they have not partnered with americans. they have called us the party of
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no. that is a great tagline, but it is meaningless. the deficit is trillion. it is mind-boggling what has not been done. -- the deficit is $1.3 trillium. i think it will have a working agenda for when they become, and hopefully the leadership in the house and senate -- the republicans. there will be lowering the taxes, getting the government regulation of the backs of people. -- off the backs of people. >> c-span's local content vehicle's are traveling the
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country looking at some of the most closely-contested house races leading up to the november midterm election. for more information, visit our web site -- >> in his weekly address, president obama addresses the economy and his tax initiative and then congressman kevin mccarthy, republican chief deputy minority whip, discusses his party's proposals that involves cutting government spending. >> this week, the economist who officially decide when the recession starts and ends this cited the recession was over. if you are one of the americans who have lost your job or savings as a consequence of the
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recession, this news is of little value. yes, the economy is growing. we are gaining private-sector jobs each month instead of losing 800,000, as we did the month i took office. we have to keep pushing to promote the jobs we need and repair the terrible damage to recession has done. that is why i propose a series of additional steps including tax breaks for businesses that buy equipment now, promotion of innovation by american companies, and in investment in infrastructure that will make our country more competitive and put people to work. taken with the tax cuts and the lending plan passed last week, this will strengthen our economy for the long run. now, the republicans who want to take over congress offer their own ideas the other day. many were the very same policies
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that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which is not surprising because many of their leaders are among the architects of that failed policy. it is the same worn out philosophy. cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, cut the rules for wall street and special interests, and cut the middle class lives to fend for itself. that is an echo of a disastrous decade we cannot afford to live. the republicans have a web site called america speaking out. it turns out that their idea it -- the funny thing is when we recently closed one of these loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, republicans in congress were almost unanimously opposed. republican leader john boehner attacked as forests and stood
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up for outsourcing instead of american workers. if repulse -- if americans are speaking out, republicans in congress sure are not listening. they want to repeal reforms that will protect our working families from getting penalties every time they use a credit card, to doubt as to the lung, or make a mortgage payment. they want to borrow another $700 billion and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. on average, that is a tax cut of $100,000 for millionaires. instead of cutting taxes for the wealthiest few, texas we cannot afford, i have called for tax cuts for middle-class families who sought their incomes shrink by 5%. and we're promoting tax cuts
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for small business owners to help the economy grow. we're challenging states and schools to do a better job educating our kids and make college affordable and once more lead the world in children graduating from college. and we're putting an end to the days of taxpayer bailout some main street never again has to pay for wall street fell mistakes. our economy is dynamic. -- so main street never has to pay for wall street's mistakes. we have to make sure all our people are getting a fair shake, to make sure everyone who is willing to work for it still has a chance to work for the american dream. that will remain my mission every single day so long as i have the position of president. have a nice day. >> hello.
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i am congressman kevin mccarthy. the question is will we leave our children a stronger country than the one our parents left us? parents are wondering if their children will find the same opportunities for success that existed just a generation ago. can you blame them? as a result of the economic disastrous policies of the current administration, millions of americans are out of work today, and deficits and debt are out of control. we have more people depending on food stamps to feed their families than in any point in history. the economy is so dire that one in six americans has to rely on
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government assistance for financial support. government assistance. the land of opportunity has become the land of shrinking prosperity. americans across the country are outraged. so our way. just as john hancock bowl be signed his name to the declaration of -- boldly signed his name to the declaration of independence, i want to say publicly so there is no room for misinterpretation, our government has failed us. from the bailout to the failed stimulus to the health care initiative, the democratic majority has refused to listen. i am speaking to you on behalf of republicans to tell you we have been listening. we have heard two loud and clear. we assure you there is nothing more inspiring than the common voice of the common man.
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when you said you wanted a prosperous, competitive economy, we heard you. when you said you wanted a more accountable government, we heard you. when you said you did not want a government takeover of health care, we heard you. this is why we have written this pledge to america. this pledge is about you. this pledge focuses largely on three things. a plan to create jobs, and economic uncertainty, and make america more competitive. a plan to cut wasteful washington spending and reduce the size of government. a plan to reform congress and restore trust in government. american rejects the notion we can tax and spend our way to prosperity.
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there are new ways for that have not been tried in washington. to put americans back to work, our agenda 62 of lemonade uncertainty in the private sector -- seeks to eliminate uncertainty in the private sector for innovators that promote growth. this pledge is a governing agenda that could be implemented right now is the powers that be in washington would allow it. we are calling on speaker pelosi, majority leader read to -- reid to have done this before -- >> we are not ready to concede
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the prosperity of our country. we refuse to believe that the same american dream that was so bright for our parents have dimmed for our children. we have rejected the policies of the democratic majority. we will take back our country. this is our pledge to america. >> i really underestimated how big the job is. i had not even been the minority leader. i was minority whip to speaker overnight. i went to leading a wave of 9 million additional votes in 1994. >> newt gingrich on his tenure as house speaker, the state of american politics today, and a possible 2012 presidential bid.
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sunday on c-span. >> you don't get to choose the moment when the opportunity to shape your country comes your way. all you get to choose is what you do when it is done. >> british deputy prime minister nick clegg defends his decision to form a coalition government. sunday night at 9:00 on c-span. >> tomorrow, a discussion on the 2010 midterm elections. there will be representatives from google and facebook. that is on c-span3. now a house hearing on immigrant farm workers, including testimony from comedienne stephen colbert.
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in august, he spent a day working on a farm. we will also hear from the president of the united farm workers of america and others. this is a little over two hours. >> [unintelligible] this is the hearing on immigration, international law will come to order. we realize there is great interest in the plight of migrant workers in america, but we will ask the best the press pull back from the table -- we will ask that the press pull back from the table so we can observe all four of our witnesses. and if the press cannot do so, they will be asked to leave the room. i would like to welcome our witnesses, members of the
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immigration subcommittee and others to the subcommittee's hearing on protecting america's harvests. has long suffered from a lack of available u.s. workers to grow and pick america's fruits and vegetables. even in today's tough economic climate, whether we like or not, insufficient and continually do -- decreasing number of u.s. workers willing to fill manual agriculture jobs. america's farmers are dependent on a reliable work force to produce our domestic food supply, and today's forms are struggling to stay in business as a result of current labor challenges. today's hearing will explore the labor needs of our nation's agricultural sector, its attempts to recruit u.s. workers for agricultural labor, the problems with our current visa program for agricultural workers, and potential solutions. one explanation for why american workers may now be unwilling to engage in manual formwork when
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they were willing to do so decades ago may live in our improving educational system. havee 1940's and 1950's, the native-born work force did not have a high school diploma. last number in -- last year that number was 5.7%. the difficulty has been highlighted by the united farmworkers take our jobs, please, campaign. the campaign in by its unemployed americans to use the u.s. government's assistance to obtain employment as farmworkers. according to the u.s. -- usw, even in a time of high unemployment, only seven u.s. workers have agreed to actually work in the field as of today. i have been a longtime advocate for farmworkers and growers. when i was on the santa clara county board of supervisors in the 1980's, and works closely with the united farm workers and
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the farm bureau. i spent time on many farms. recently at the invitation of the usw, i spent the day picking strawberries at a farm near my district. they also invited me to pick a day picking expended day picking vegetables on a farm in new york with stephen colbert. i want to thank the usw president for bringing us together on this important issue. i would like to admonish the audience before i continue my statement that we need to maintain order and decorum throughout these proceedings, and to that end, i would like to remind all of the visitors in the audience that they should refrain from any manifestation of approval or disapproval of these proceedings or any other disruptive actions. if necessary, the capitol police are here to remove anyone who disrupts the hearing, but we certainly hope that will be necessary. part of what i learned over the years is that without a sufficient u.s. labor force,
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u.s. farmers have increasingly relied on undocumented workers. according to the department of labor, over 50% of all seasonal agricultural workers are undocumented. experts believe that due to underreporting, that number may actually be closer to 75%. critics argue that the shortage of u.s. agricultural workers could be solved by simply increasing wages and working conditions. as a longtime an ardent supporter of farmworkers, i would like nothing better, but we must also face the reality that the nation's grocers compete with farmers from around the world in this increasingly globalized world. increasing wages and benefits in an amount necessary to track millions of educated workers to the fields would mean increased production costs that could render u.s. food products and competitive with imported products. american firms would then close, in turn resulting in the
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